A further example of the poor state of the one proud British aviation industry:
–The Viking was Vickers’ answer to postwar immediate needs of short-haul airlines to supplement -with an increased payload- the ubiquitous DC-3. In essence, a sad collage of obsolete bombers parts (Wellignton’s wings and Warwick’s tail feathers) plus a new stressed-skin fuselage and superb Bristol Hercules engines. With the product coming from the other side of the Atlantic, the end product was obsolete at first sight. Anyway, The Vicking in its various improved variants sold quite decently and gave good service. One also make some noise.
–The Westland case is different but, in a way, even saddest. The company centered its business in the new and promising rotary-wing field and to do so by license-built American “Sikorskys”. The pair of S-51 depicted here were part of the six Sikorsky-built S-51s that formed part of that license agreement. The S-51 was developed and built by Westland under the Dragonfly name. From these “humiliating” beginnings Westland flourished later building further “Sikorsky’s” and also their own homegrown products.
A splendid photo anyway. Humble Wings indeed.